Thursday, January 7, 2016

A semi-submerged church in northern Italy

In South Tyrol, northern Italy, close to the Italian borders with Austria and Switzerland, there's the artificial lake of Reschensee (Lago di Resia in Italian), which is known for a little more than the nature surrounding it: the steeple of a submerged 14th-century church which is visible all year round in the middle of the lake. 

Together with the church, the whole town of Graun im Vinschgau (Curon Venosta) needed to be moved to a higher ground to make space for the lake. In total, 163 homes and 523 hectares (1,290 acres) of cultivated land were submerged in 1950. 

Today the church bell, which can be visited on foot when the lake freezes in winter, can be seen on the coat of arm of the newer Curon Venosta town which know sits on the shores of Reschensee. A legend says that during winter one can still hear church bells ring even though in reality the bells were removed from the tower on July 18, 1950, a week before the demolition of the church nave and the creation of the lake.

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